Recruiting in a Tight Market

There are positions where it’s almost impossible to attract a candidate.

Especially for highly skilled, technical positions, it can be a seller’s market. Here are some tips on how to widen your pool of candidates.


Be prepared

  • Define your company’s culture and why it’s a great place to work.
  • Get key hiring managers involved right from the start — not only in developing the specs for the position but also in scheduling their interviews early on. They are an integral part of the selection process, should know it and not view it as H.R.’s responsibility.
  • Be organised. Clearly define the job before the résumés start coming in. Make sure you’ve used all the assessment diagnostics you have to help you analyse the job. Form a hiring team for each job and be ready to call them together at a moment’s notice.
  • Money isn’t everything. Review your policies on benefits, flexible working hours, working from home, day care, business casual, holidays, training fee reimbursements, etc.
  • If good candidates come along when there’s no opening, meet with them. Explain your current status, then briefly interview them. The candidates will appreciate your taking the time and remember it. Should an opening arise, you’ll have completed the screening interview.

Getting to the Candidate

  • Have a special number for candidates without résumés to call — and have someone on the phone who can help them document the information needed.
  • Have a call-in line for people to inquire about career opportunities in your company.
  • Ensure that your website has a “Career Opportunities” section. Browse the Internet for on-line candidates. Attend one of the many free seminars on Internet Recruiting to get up to speed.
  • Consider encouraging nepotism — more and more companies are finding that when “Aunt Mary” recommends “Cousin John” for a job, she’ll have a vested interest in keeping him in line.
  • Keep an eye out for news reports about layoffs. Contact H.R. to discuss your requirements.
  • Let people know, even in your ad, what makes your company more attractive than others.
  • Get yourself and your company known in professional organisations. Take every opportunity to network, you never know who’s listening and what information will be passed along.
  • Keep an eye open for non-traditional approaches — if you need an individual who speaks Italian, for example, contact local Italian associations or clubs and post a notice on their bulletin boards.
  • Offer an incentive to employees who recommend new people.
  • Try luring a top candidate out of retirement. Retired people often have a wealth of information and expertise at their command — and they may not be finding retirement as stimulating or exciting as they expected. They might jump at the opportunity to go back into the workforce on a part- or even full-time basis.If someone accepts a job with another company, make a note of it and call in a few months to see how it’s working out.

Keeping the Candidate’s Interest

  • Respond to all candidates with suitable résumés within 24 hours. Speed counts.
  • Allow for evening and weekend interviews — it reduces candidates’ stress levels and helps to prevent them from making snap decisions.
  • Have candidates meet all the decision-makers in one day and be ready to make an offer within 24 hours.
  • Do something different/surprising in your selection process — something that differentiates you from your competition.
  • Be worth the wait by giving candidates something exciting to think about relating to the job.
  • Create candidate desire by being rigorous in your selection process — play hard to get.
  • Don’t drop your standards or shortcut the steps in your selection process. Good candidates will respect and want to join an organisation that treats selection seriously — word will spread.
  • Use The McQuaig System to assess candidates and focus interviews. It provides a structured, objective approach that can save time, money and mistakes.
  • Most important, even in a tough market, be selective. Always remember, as tempting as it can be, don’t hire the best if the best isn’t good enough!
  • When the vacancy is filled, advise the remaining candidates — a better fitting opening may come up later.

The Rogers Group offers tools and training to provide managers with the insight to assess and manage people. For more information about The McQuaig System, contact us on 1300 764377.

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